Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has a reputation in the league as being a nasty, sometimes dirty, player. It’s a reputation that Suh himself knows he’s earned due to various transgressions on the field over his career with the Lions.
However, Suh is working to try to improve the way he’s viewed as a player. Suh joined Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL Radio and spoke about the image he’s created for himself over his first four seasons in the NFL and how he’s trying to change that perception. He points to the incident on Thanksgiving in 2011 when he stomped on Green Bay Packers’ center Evan Dietrich-Smith as the defining moment that has helped shape the reputation he now has as a player.
“It’s obviously tainted me and given me a bad rep, and well-deserved in that instance, but I don’t think one moment in somebody’s life is going to define them,” Suh said. “I’ve vowed, not only to myself personally, but to my family and my teammates and coaches not to have that happen again and not have situations like that that’s going to hurt them or make them feel that they can’t be proud of me or want me as a teammate.”
“That’s one thing that I just hope and wish people have the opportunity and take the light to be unbiased and really kind of take a look at my track record and not define me by one instance and one mistake in my life that I’ve had.”
Suh says he’s become a more mature player this season.
“I think I’ve definitely grown up quite a bit just understanding that if you’re not growing up, you’re just moving backward,” Suh said. I’m a person that always wants to move forward, always want to grow and learn and not be the smartest person in the room, because when you’re not the smartest person in the room, you’re always learning things. I’m a learner. That’s how I got to where I am now.”
Suh is playing fantastic football for the Lions this season. Detroit is leading the NFC North by a game over the Chicago Bears and hold the tiebreaker due to winning both head-to-head matchups this season. Barring a late season collapse, Suh and the Lions appear destined to make a return trip to the postseason after a down season last year.